NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 654
01 May 2008

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 April 2008 and 30 April 2008.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates (UTC).

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2008-022A 32794 Amos 3 28 April 2008
2008-021K 32792 Rubin 8 28 April 2008
2008-021J 32791 Object J 28 April 2008
2008-021H 32790 Object H 28 April 2008
2008-021G 32789 Object G 28 April 2008
2008-021F 32788 Object F 28 April 2008
2008-021E 32787 Object E 28 April 2008
2008-021D 32786 Object D 28 April 2008
2008-021C 32785 Object C 28 April 2008
2008-021B 32784 IMS 1 28 April 2008
2008-021A 32783 CartoSat-2A 28 April 2008
2008-020A 32781 GIOVE-B 26 April 2008
2008-019A 32779 Tianlian 1 25 April 2008
2008-018B 32768 Star One C2 18 April 2008
2008-018A 32767 Vinasat 1 18 April 2008
2008-017A 32765 C/NOFS 16 April 2008
2008-016A 32763 ICO G1 14 April 2008
2008-015A 32756 Soyuz TMA-12 08 April 2008

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Amos 3 is an Israeli geostationary communications satellite that was launched by a Zenit 3SLB rocket from Baikonur at 05:00 UT on 28 April 2008. The 1.3 tonne (with fuel) craft carries 24 Ku-band with steerable beams and three fixed-beam Ka-band transponders to provide voice, video and internet services to Europe, US, and the Middle East after parking over 4.0° W.
Rubin 8 is a German nanosatellite that was launched from Sriharikota at 03:54 UT on 28 April 2008 by a PSLV-C9 rocket. The 8.0 kg craft carries a new receiver that will capture uploaded data for the Automatic Marine Identification System (AIS). It is one of the eight nanosatellites among the 10 craft that were launched by the PSLV-C9. It, however, remained attached to the final stage, as has been the case of previous Rubin spacecraft. The initial orbital parameters were period 97.5 min, apogee 662 km, perigee 619 km, and inclination 98.9°.
2008-021C,   2008-021D,   2008-021E,   2008-021F,   2008-021G,   2008-021H,   2008-021J
These seven nanosatellites are yet to be matched with their names. They were all launched by a PSLV-C9 rocket from Sriharikota at 03:54 UT on 28 April 2008. The first six in the list will be clustered and collectively named NLS-4. The orbital parameters of all seven were similar: period 97.2 min, apogee 634 km, perigee 616 km, and inclination 98°. The following are skeleton descriptions of these nanosatellites:
CAN-X2 is a 7.0 kg, Canadian nanosatellite that was built by students of the University of Toronto, carrying an innovative attitude sensor.
CUTE-1.7 is a 5.0 kg Japanese nanosatellite that was built by students at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, carrying a PDA-based bus system and Avalanche photodiodes.
Delfi-C3 is a 6.5 kg Netherlands nanosatellite that was built by students at the Technical University, Delfi. It will flight-test thin film solar cells and an advanced transceiver.
AAUSAT-2 is a 3.0 kg Danish nanosatellite that was built by students at Aalborg University. It carries a gamma ray detector and will flight-test sensors for triaxial stabilization.
COMPASS-1 is a 3.0 kg German nanosatellite built by the students at the University of Applied Science, Aachen. It will flight-test a miniaturized bus.
SEEDS (Space Engineering EDucation Satellite) is a 3.0 kg Japanese nanosatellite built by the students at Nihon University. It will demonstrate the feasibility of downlinking spacecraft parameter data in CW transmission.
NLS-5 is a 16 kg Canadian nanosatellite built by students at the University of Toronto. It will test a new VHF receiver to survey the maritime VHF band at 162 nHz.
IMS 1 (Indian Mini-Satellite) is an Indian remote sensing craft that was launched by a PSLV-C9 rocket from Sriharikota in southeastern coast of India at 03:54 UT on 28 April 2008, along with CartoSat 2A and eight nanosatellites. The 83 kg, 220 W craft carries a multispectral imager in visible light with a resolution of 37 m and a swath of 151 km, and a hyper-spectral camera in near-infrared light with a resolution of 506 m, and swath of 130 km. The initial orbital parameters were period 97.2 min, apogee 637 km, perigee 616 km, and inclination 98°.
CartoSat 2A is the primary Indian remote sensing craft among the fleet of 10 satellites that were launched by a PSLV-C9 rocket from Sriharikota in southeastern coast of India at 03:54 UT on 28 April 2008. The 690 kg, 900 W, triaxially stabilized craft carries a panchromatic camera to provide 0.5-0.85 micron images at one meter resolution in a swath of 9.6 km. It can be steered along track as well as across track to enable repeated images of a chosen site, frequently. The images will be used in rural and urban planning. The initial orbital parameters were period 97.3 min, apogee 637 km, perigee 616 km, and inclination 98°.
GIOVE-B (Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element-B) is the second of the test versions of the 30 craft European Union navigational fleet that is planned to be launched beginning 2010. It was launched by a Soyuz-Fregat rocket from Baikonur at 22:16 UT on 26 April 2008. (A similar version, GIOVE-A, was launched in December 2005.) The 500 kg craft carries two (redundant) Rubidium atomic clocks, and an even more precise Passive Hydrogen Maser with an accuracy of one nanosecond/day. It also carries a radiation-monitoring payload, and a laser retro-reflector for high-accuracy laser ranging. When completed, this Galileo fleet will become the third available fleet, after the long-functional GPS and the to-be-completed GLONASS fleets. The initial orbital parameters were period 842 min, apogee 23,154 km, perigee 23,015 km, inclination 56°.
Tianlian 1 is the first data-relay satellite of China (PRC) that was launched by a Long March 3C rocket from Xichang satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province at 15:35 UT on 25 April 2008. Its operation will be activated with the launch of the manned Shenzhou 7 mission later in 2008. It will then cover about 50% of Shenzhou 7 orbit, rather than the coverage of 12% without the relay. (USSTRATCOM names the satellite as CTDRS.) The initial orbital parameters were period 752 min, apogee 41,795 km, perigee 210 km, and inclination 18.5°.
Star One C2 is a Brazilian geostationary communications satellite that was launched by an Ariane 5 ECA rocket from Kourou at 22:17 UT on 18 April 2008. The 4.1 tonne (with fuel) craft carries a total of 45 transponders in C-, Ku-, and X-bands to provide direct-to-home (DTH) TV and telephony for Brazil and Mexico after parking over 65° W longitude.
Vinasat 1 is a Vietnamese geostationary communications satellite that was launched by an Ariane 5 ECA rocket from Kourou at 22:17 UT on 18 April 2008. The 2.6 tonne (with fuel) craft carries 12 Ku-band, and eight C-band transponders to provide voice, video, and internet services to eastern Asia, India, Australia, Japan, and Hawaii after parking over 132° E longitude.
C/NOFS (Communication/Navigation Outage Forcasting System) is an American military satellite that was launched by a Pegasus rocket released from a L-1011 aircraft flying out of Reagan Test Site at Kwajalein in Marshal Islands at 08:00 UT on 16 April 2008. The 395 kg craft will monitor the conditions that lead to the generation of irregularities/bubbles that produce radio scintillations in the equatorial ionosphere and to warn against imminent disruption/degradation of military communications. It carries an instrument called CINDI (Coupled Ion Neutral Dynamic Investigation) consisting of an Ion Velocity Meter (IVM), a Neutral Wind Monitor (NWM), and a Vector Electric Field Instrument (VEFI). CINDI is a NASA-sponsored investigation. (See The initial orbital parameters were period 97.3 min, apogee 853 km, perigee 405 km, and inclination 13°.
ICO G1 is an American (ICO Global Communications, Inc.) geostationary communications satellite that was launched by an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 20:12 UT on 14 April 2008. The 6.6 tonne (with fuel), 16 kW craft carries an unfurlable, 12 m diameter S-band mesh, and is 30 m long including the solar panels. It will operate in 2.0 GHz band with seven C-band transponders, providing voice video, and internet services directly to mobile platforms in North America, after parking over 92.9° W. Although 99% of its population are adequately served by the cell phone networks, the roadside services are unavailable in 33% of the area; this will be met by the geostationary craft. It utilizes a GBBF (Ground-Based Beam Forming system) which allows 250 transmitting and 250 receiving independent S-band beams.
Soyuz TMA-12 is a Russian passenger transport craft that was launched by a Soyuz FG rocket from Baikonur at 12:17 UT on 08 April 2005. It carried three astronauts (two Russian and one South Korean) to the International Space Station (ISS) and docked automatically with it at 16:00 UT on 10 April 2008. After about 10 days at the ISS, the South Korean astronaut and two other astronauts who had been staying on the ISS for several months, returned to Earth on 19 April on Soyuz TMA-11 (that had remained docked at the ISS since its mission in October 2007). It was a rough landing at a location 400 km away from the planned location. The initial orbital parameters of TMA-12 were period 91.4 min, apogee 347 km, perigee 337 km, and inclination 51.6°.

C. Spacecraft Particularly Suited for International Participation

Global Positioning System satellites useful for navigational purposes and geodetic studies.

High precision (<20 cm) GPS constellation tracking data obtained from the network of about 400 dedicated global stations that are of interest to geodetic study may be obtained through the following services provided by the International GNSS Service (IGS). The IGS is a service of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG).

     FTP:  [directory /igscb]

The standard format of the GPS situation appeared in SPACEWARN Bulletin No. 518. It will not be repeated since an excellent source of trajectory- and science-related GPS information is at:

It provides many links to GPS related databases.

The latest addition to the fleet is GPS 2R-18 (2007-062A).

Russian Global Navigational (Positioning) Spacecraft, GLONASS constellation.

SPACEWARN requests updates/additions from readers to this list.

All GLONASS spacecraft are in the general Cosmos series. The Cosmos numbers invoked by USSPACECOM have often differed from the numbers (NNNN) associated in Russia; when different, the USSPACECOM Cosmos numbers are shown in parentheses. The corresponding GLONASS numbers are Russian numbers, followed by the numbers in parentheses that are sometimes attributed to them outside Russia.

The operating frequencies in MHz are computed from the channel number K. Frequencies (MHz) = 1602.0 + 0.5625K and L2 = 1246.0 + 0.4375K.

The standard format of the GLONASS situation last appeared in SPACEWARN Bulletin No. 545. It will not be repeated in view of the excellent updated source at: maintained by the Information-Analytical Center (IAC), Russian Space Agency.

According to CSIC the latest additions to the fleet are 2007-065A, 2007-065B, and 2007-065C.

Visually bright objects.

See Users must register. Conditions apply.

Actual decays/landings of payload spacecraft and rocket bodies (R/B) only. No further information is available.

Designations         Common Name                  Decay Date (2008)

2004-043J (28487)    R/B (Aux) Proton-M               30 April
2007-047C (32262)    R/B(1) Delta 2                   30 April
2008-015B (32757)    R/B Soyuz-FG                     11 April
2007-062C (32386)    R/B(1) Delta 2                   08 April
2008-004A (32484)    PROGRESS-M 63                    07 April
1992-050A (22068)    MOLNIYA 1-84                     04 April

60-day Decay Predictions.

See Users must register for access. Conditions apply

Miscellaneous Items.

This section contains information or data that are entered on occasion and may not be repeated in each issue of the SPACEWARN Bulletin.

Related NSSDC resources.

NSSDC/WDC for Satellite Information is an archival center for science data from many spacecraft. Many space physics datasets are on-line for electronic access through:

For off-line data, please contact the Request Office, NSSDC, Code 690.1, NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, U.S.A., for specific information ( Information on the current status of the instruments on board from the investigators will be most welcomed. Precomputed trajectory files and orbital parameters of many magnetospheric and heliospheric science-payload spacecraft may be obtained from:

Other files of interest for Earth-centered spacecraft can be generated via the URL,

Programs related to the heliospheric spacecraft trajectories can be executed through the URL:

Magnetospheric, Planetary, and Astronomical science data from many spacecraft may be accessed through links from the URL:

[] NASA Logo -